“School Police Officer” project

The "School Police Officer" project is a model of cooperation between the educational establishments and the patrol police departments in the cities of Kyiv, Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk and Lviv for the period of 2016-2017 academic year. The project was implemented in stages and on the basis of the orders of the National Police and the Patrol Police Department, as well as the memorandums between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Education of Ukraine, as well as between the Patrol Police Department and the Department of Education and Science, Youth and Sports of the executive body of the Kyiv City Council (the Kyiv City ​​State administration).

The main objective of the project is to create a safer environment in the educational establishments, to ensure the effective prevention of offenses among students, to use the restorative practices to prevent conflicts, offenses and other negative phenomena. The educational establishments join the program exclusively on their own free will.

The guidelines for the "School and Police" program regarding the conduct of educational and preventive activities with students of 1-11 grades were elaborated with the participation of Canadian colleagues and Ukrainian experts. The guidelines were subsequently approved by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine for the use in the educational institutions. The program contains 25 lessons (6 lessons for junior school and 19 lessons for senior school) which allow exploring in the interactive format such important topics as safe behavior on the road and in everyday life, behavior in stressful or dangerous situations, children's rights, prevention and counteraction to domestic violence, bullying and so on. The school police officers were selected among the patrol police officers in four pilot cities. The chosen officers underwent training and subsequently started to implement the project.

The lessons consist of the brief theoretical part and the practical training. The lessons for junior school students are conducted while playing with special game sets and dolls. Different practical situations are being worked out with middle and senior classes during group work. Since classes are conducted simultaneously for groups of no more than 30 children, each child is involved in the game or discussion to facilitate a better mastering of the material.

A separate direction of activity of school police officers is the establishment of cooperation with parents, who have ambiguous attitude to the project and school police officers. The parents usually like the idea of such lessons, but the cases of mutual misunderstanding also happen as the parents, unfortunately, do not always understand that they bear full responsibility for the health and well-being of their children, and the methods of influencing the behavior of the children they use are not always effective for modern youth.

The program's outcome is, first of all, the raised legal awareness of the population, the reduced level of juvenile delinquency as well as the establishment of cooperation between the police and society on the basis of mutual trust, respect and understanding of the fact that systemic problems of society can be effectively addressed only upon the condition of close cooperation of its members.

Currently, the project is being implemented in four cities. The number of schools and school police officers enrolled:

Kyiv: 12 functioning school police officers, 215 schools out of 492are covered.

Lviv: 8 functioning school police officers, all 106 schools are covered.

Odesa: 9 functioning school police officers, all 123 schools are covered.

Ivano-Frankivsk: 6 functioning school police officers, all 41 schools are covered.

In the 2017-2018 academic year, the program is launched in seven new cities and towns along thefour pilot ones: Dnipro, Kharkiv, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, Rubizhne, Chernivtsi, Kropyvnytskyi. The project is further planned to be launched in all the cities and towns, where the patrol police departments operate.

 

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